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Children vs. Adults in second-language learning 3308 심리언어학 Chapter 6.

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Presentation on theme: "Children vs. Adults in second-language learning 3308 심리언어학 Chapter 6."— Presentation transcript:

1 Children vs. Adults in second-language learning 3308 심리언어학 Chapter 6

2 1.Children are better: a common belief 2. Basic psychological factors affecting second-language learning -Intellectual processing -Memory -Motor skills -Two other important psychological variables 3. Social situations affecting second-language learning

3 -The natural situation -The classroom situation -Who is better? Children or adults? - ESL or EFL community context 4. Is there a critical age for second- language learning?

4 What are the differences between children and adults? -Age (critical period of learning) -Motivation -Attitude -Environment (ESL vs. EFL)

5 Theories on the second language acquisition - During childhood, language learning is very easy. Our bra ins are ready for language learning. As we are getting ol der, people loose childhood ability (Lenneberg, 1964). -The attainment of second language is constrained by the age at which learning begins (Birdsong & Molis, , p. 235). - “Acquisition of a normal language is guaranteed for childr en up to the age of six, is steadily compromised from the n shortly after puberty, and is rare thereafter” (Pinker, 19 94, p. 298).

6 Psychological factors: Intellectual processing 1. Explication - The process whereby the rules and structures of a second language are explained. - It is impossible for it to be learned entirely by explication (e.g., tense, article). - Explication is rarely applicable to young children (e.g., dogs/z/-voiced consonant, ducks/s/- unvoiced consonant). - Simple rules can be learned by explication.

7 Psychological factors: Intellectual processing 2. Induction - Self-discovery of the rules - For young learners: (John danced then John sang-> John danced and then he sang) It is able to use and understand the complicated structures. -For the second-language learners: beyond the learner’s level of syntactic understanding?

8 Psychological factors: Memory 1.Syntax learning and episodic memory - Memory is crucial for the learning of grammatical structures and rules. - Episodic memory: the learner must remember the situations in which the sentences are uttered in order to derive the meaning. 2. Children’s memory ability - 7 to 12 years old: cognitive ability - Under 7 years old: rote memorization

9 Psychological factors: Motor skills 1.Articulators of speech - Motor skills: the use of muscles in performing certain skills(e.g., walking, writing, speech). 2. Decline in general motor skills - Around at the age of 12 years: due to some change in central functioning in the brain. 3. Decline in ability for new articulations - Children have the flexibility in motor skills that adults generally have lost.

10 Three important psychological factors 1.Induction and Explication 2. Memory 3. Motor skills

11 Psychological factors: Motivation 1.Motivation (according to the situation) - At the age of 1-2: no motivation. - At the age of 4-5: need motivation - The planned learning situation(classroom) : need motivation  the amount of attention+ effort 2. Other variables involved in second language learning: personality, social situation, intergroup attitude, self-confidence, desire etc.

12 Psychological factors: Attitude 1. Attitude: negative vs. positive  determination, persistence. 2. Other variables involved in second language learning: status, cultural background.

13 Social situations 1.Natural situation: it is similar to that in which the first language is learned. 2. Classroom situation: it involves the social situation of the school classroom. 3. Community context: it allows students to have access to a natural situation and thereby supplement their classroom learning.

14 Social situations: the natural situation 1.Characteristics of the natural situation 2. With age, language is more essential for social interaction 3. Older children can have problems

15 Social situations: the classroom situation 1.The classroom is isolated from other social life 2. Learning languages as part of a group and not as an individual

16 Social situations: who is better? children or adults? -In a natural situation MemoryMotor skills InductionNatural situation Children high Adults medium low high low

17 Social situations: who is better? children or adults? -In the classroom situation Cognitive experience MemoryMotor skills Older child low high Adults high medium low

18 Environment for the second language learning 1.ESL: English as a second language 2. EFL: English as a foreign language


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